Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has announced that it has started final preparations for the launch of the second generation of its M-PESA platform as it prepares to perform a full scale system upgrade aimed at improving efficiencies and speed over the next week.
Safaricom had first announced plans to replace its M-PESA platform last year, seeking to migrate the current platform to an enhanced platform that will allow for faster transactions, improved stability as well as enable more functionality from the service.
“This is a milestone moment for the M-PESA platform as we embark on our final preparations ahead of the full migration process. We anticipate this new platform will unlock a new era of transformational mobile financial services.” said Betty Mwangi, General Manager – Financial Services, Safaricom.
Over the last six months, Safaricom has met a number of key milestones as it progresses on its journey to migrate the entire M-PESA platform to Kenya, including conducting a number of dry runs to ensure that stability and uptime are restored as soon as possible after the migration.
The company will be integrating all existing internal systems including security, redundancy and disaster recovery on the new platform. The Central Bank of Kenya and the Communications Authority of Kenya have been provided with oversight over the entire migration process to ensure that Safaricom meets its stated goals with minimal disruption to the customer.
“What this means is that we are not only offering faster speeds and more secure transactions to our customers, we are also creating the foundation for a more accessible system that will further enable the rapidly growing mobile money ecosystem in Kenya to continue to grow and be fuelled by locally created solutions,” said Ms. Mwangi.
Additional benefits of the new system will extend to enhanced system stability due to reduction in points of failure; functional flexibility that will allow a wider range of customer services; easier integration onto M-PESA for 3rd Parties; and improved business continuity for continued service availability.
Safaricom transforms lives. We provide voice, data, financial services and enterprise solutions for a range of subscribers, small businesses and government, using a variety of platforms.
As the biggest communication company in East and Central Africa, Safaricom has delights over 21 million subscribers, providing over 200,000 touch points for its customers and offering over 100 different products under its portfolio.
With annual revenues in excess of Kshs 100 Billion, Safaricom invested Kshs 27.78 billion in infrastructure in 2014, providing over half of Kenya’s population with 3G coverage and providing 2G coverage to 90% of Kenyans. Safaricom owns its proprietary fibre infrastructure and recently launched 4G services in Nairobi and Mombasa, and is in the process of building a dedicated enterprise business to provide managed services to clients in the East African region.
Safaricom pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-PESA, the most successful such service anywhere in the world. Launched in March 2007 as a money transfer service, M-PESA now has over 19 million customers and over 81,000 Agent outlets countrywide.